ELF: Munich Ravens host Helvetic Guards in battle of expansion teams

On Sunday a pair of three-win expansion teams will square off as the 3-5 Helvetic Guards travel to Germany to meet the 3-4 Munich Ravens.

Though the Ravens have a losing record at 3-4, all of their losses have come against some of the best teams in the league.  They have mostly kept those games competitive, while also winning some games in blowout fashion.  In fact, they actually have a positive point differential at +17.  Thus, it is fair to say that they are likely the best team with a losing record in the league.  With a high-flying passing attack led by quarterback Chad Jeffries and league-leading receiver Markell Castle, this team is a challenge for any opposing defense to handle.  

Munich is definitely a talented team but they have a tough road ahead of them if they want a shot at making the playoffs in their first season.  They have five games remaining and will definitely need to win at least four of those in order to have a chance at the playoffs.  Considering they still have games against the undefeated Rhein Fire and the conference-leading Stuttgart Surge, that effectively makes this Sunday’s contest a must-win game.

Photo: Lars Kauz

After starting their inaugural season with five consecutive losses, the Guards shockingly have won each of their last three games and are currently one of the hottest teams in the league.  They have won these games despite being outgained in offensive yardage in every one of them, as they have relied on forcing turnovers and executing plays in clutch moments to pile up victories.  The Guards’ recent hot streak has probably been the best feel-good story of the league this season, as no other team that started out so cold has been able to bounce back.  All of their recent wins have come on home turf, so now we will get to see if they can bring the same level of play on the road.

Unfortunately, the Guards’ 0-5 start effectively put them out of playoff contention, but a strong finish to their inaugural season could go a long way in generating some more buzz in their home country of Switzerland and making their mark on this young league.

These teams met back in week 3 in Switzerland, as the Ravens took home a 39-10 victory.  After the Guards took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter, Munich dominated the game the rest of the way.  The Ravens racked up a whopping 568 yards of total offense, including 408 passing yards.  Jeffries threw for 409 yards and 5 touchdowns in the victory.  With that being said, the Guards are essentially a completely different team than what they were in that first meeting, so this game should be more competitive.

With a lot on the line in a matchup between the league’s two best expansion teams, Sunday’s game in Munich should be a fun one.

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.